A team of researchers has found a way to create electricity from carbon dioxide while also preventing the gas from entering the atmosphere.
The technique, developed by the team from Wetsus, involves a system of membrane and water. Tanks are filled with water, with each one sandwiched between a pair of membranes—one that allows the passage of positive ions and one that allows negative ions to flow through. An electrode is positioned beyond the membranes, and when the carbon dioxide is moved through the water it separates into positive hydrogen ion and negative bicarbonate. Because the membranes only allow one type of ion through, the electrons create a current as they flow from one side to the other.
The team plans to see if they can scale up the process to work on the industrial scale.